June 24, 2017

MART Employee Charged with Corrupt Gifts Under Chapter 268A – Worcester Defense Attorneys

Worcester Superior Court

Client a 30 year old female from Fitchburg, MA was charged with one count of Corrupt Gifts, Offers or Promises to Influence Official Acts under chapter 268A, section 2(a) and one count of Medicaid Kickback under chapter 118E section 41.  The client was an employee at MART (Montachusett Area Regional Transit) a local governmental entity, which provided transportation services throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  In total, three employees of MART were charged, along with a large transportation vendor that contracted for services with MART.  The three employees, including the client, were charged with illegally bypassing a low-bid system that was in place and diverting rides to a particular transportation vendor in exchange for cash and other remuneration from the vendor.

This was a sweeping investigation by the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) and the Massachusetts State Police (MSP).  The Attorney General’s Office took part in the interviewing of dozens of witnesses, the execution of at least six search warrants, the exhaustive forensic examination of multiple computers, hard drives, cell phones, GPS devices, thumb drives and other memory devices.  In addition the AGO and MSP either seized, subpoenaed or searched hundreds of thousands of pages of billing, phone, bank and other records. 

The allegations against the three employees of MART were that they were illegally bypassing the low-bid system and diverting rides to a particular vendor in exchange for the vendor paying them cash and other kickbacks in return.  The vendor was also charged with bribing the three employees.  By the time the case was ready for trial the other two employees had entered into cooperation agreements with the Commonwealth, whereby they agreed to testify against the client in exchange for receiving a deal on their sentencing.  The transportation vendor actually plead guilty to all of the indictments he faced prior to the client’s trial.

The trial in Worcester Superior Court lasted three days.  We presented a defense that the witnesses under cooperation agreement were clearly motivated to lie based on their motive to receive a lighter sentence.   Attorney Riddle cross-examined the principal witness against his client for two days getting her to acknowledge that she repeatedly lied to investigators, that there was no proof of her allegations against the client, and the chronology of her lies correlated to her cooperation with the government in exchange for a deal.   We further presented evidence that the Commonwealth’s case consisted of scant physical evidence and easily explainable circumstantial evidence.  Fortunately the jury saw the case for what it was, an unfounded allegation based on lies.

Result: After a three day trial the jury returned a verdict of Not Guilty in about one hour.